When we come to this time of the year, everything is in a state of flux. With changing currents, then one day there is blue water, the next is the clean green water comes back. This is not unusual, in fact it’s more or less normal. It’s just very early in the summer fishing season to have more stable conditions as we continue the seasonal transition, nothing complicated. But we are seeing subtle and constant improvements by the day. The strong currents of a few weeks back that brought with it the larger Black and Blue Marlin have relaxed. For now we have most of the favorite species people are looking for. Sailfish, Dorado, Tuna, Marlin and more are already here. Sounds great, I know, but the whole thing needs some time to jell. Right now with all those famous species, massive amounts of warm water bait has come with them. Now this is a double edged sword, too much bait means it’s hard to get these fish to check out your “presentation”. Not enough bait, and they all leave. The good news is these species are filling in the entire area in all the different fishing grounds right now there are serious possibilities. With so few boats heading out in this slow part of the year for tourism, what I’m seeing could be just the tip of the iceberg. People are catching fish, but first you have to be on the water for the “action to begin”.
Living in Puerto Vallarta now for 22 yrs., I’m what you’d call a “Gringo Pata Salada” or American with salty feet, aka a long time local. And I can relate to this nick name, although through the years I’ve been referred to by many different names by many different types. I’ve watched Puerto Vallarta grow into a cross between a small town and the big city. Puerto Vallarta and area have in the neighborhood of eight million people a year come to this beautiful and safe location to vacation where the dollar goes a long way and the people are famous for their kindness and generosity. Yet at the last consensus, there are less than three hundred thousand people living in the entire coastline of The Bay of Banderas. Which of course encompasses both states of Jalisco and Nayarit.
We’ve been riding a Rollercoaster of storm currents when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Right now to find fish, you have to follow the bait. And they’re riding the currents. With changing storm currents this means fish right now are spread out from Yelapa to El Banco. We had a Hurricane pass us last week and for a few days Sailfish and Marlin were pushed into the area. Then we got hit with some heavy rains, which of course means plenty of dirty water washing down the rivers which dumped into the bay. Dirty water pretty much, at the moment this article was written, was in most of the bay, and any fishing grounds that would be normally associated with an eight hour trip. Sounds kinda negative now doesn’t it. This is when you have to turn your head and look in a different direction. Open you mind and think like a fish. What would you do if you were a fish in our local waters?
Last week you might remember how surprised I was that Corbetena just “crapped” out and for a few days anyway other options were more favorable. This week I’m glad to announce that Corbetena Lives! El Banco has Blue and Black Marlin along with blue water and plenty of bait. With calm seas and perfect fishing conditions we’re moving now into September when things start happening. Even though it’s a La Nina year, which means the water is cooler than normal, the fishing is surprisingly good. When tourism moves into September, Puerto Vallarta fishing finally turns into the conditions that built our reputation in Puerto Vallarta as some of the best fishing ground in the world!
For months now I’ve been putting out accurate information regarding fishing conditions here in Puerto Vallarta with as positive a spin as possible. Finally this week, no spin, things have changed drastically and now there is every reason to be heading out of the bay. First, water temperatures are up, Bait is plentiful, New Summer species are moving into the area. And even El Banco, aka The Bank is showing signs of a pulse! I’ve been patiently waiting for mid-June to show up as this is normally when things start to turn around. Things aren’t perfect, but they’re moving in the right direction and it’s only going to improve as we get deeper into High Season for Fishing in Puerto Vallarta’s fishing grounds!
This year, the fishing has been strange. Especially Puerto Vallarta’s world famous fishing grounds. Last week we had many of our favorite summer species, Dorado, Yellowfin Tuna and Sailfish to mention a few. They all came in fast and hungry. The bait remained, but the different species have either moved on or have thinned out in number by spreading out across all of PV’s fishing grounds. Bass are still around, kinda strange with warm water temperatures in the bay. It’s a “La Nina” year, which means the normal conditions are anything but. We’ve seen summer species in the area now for months, when normally they wouldn’t be. Dorado are a perfect example. We’ve been dealing with this for about a year now, but things will be changing. The only question is how and when?
Normally at this time of the year we don’t talk much about “breeding” fish. But normally we don’t have to deal with La Nina. Normally we don’t have species like Dorado in the area in the middle of “winter” fishing, even though It’s Spring. So much of the frustration we’re seeing in our fishing season is from species that “shouldn’t be here”. We all know it’s a “mixed up season”. So the locals are full of eggs and we have to deal with that. The good news is Jack Crevalles are taking bait again. Dorado that are here are still fickle, but beginning to take surface baits. Striped Marlin and Sailfish, again two species that are either “super early” for their normal season are showing signs of taking bait. With strange water temperatures and currents, species that shouldn’t “be” here, are because of La Nina, it can be hard to figure out. But the silver lining is the bay fishing is incredible with smaller species, like normal. And as the remaining Whales filter out, the near future for fishing in Puerto Vallarta is looking better by the day!
We’re finally seeing some changes for the positive when it comes to fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Water temperatures are holding. Striped Marlin and Sailfish are still off Punta Mita and most of the deep water fishing grounds are “on vacation” until further notice. But it’s March, the time of the year we normally start to see Sailfish return to the area. You may say “Sailfish, they’ve been here since before December”. And you’d be correct, but they shouldn’t have been frankly. I understand why visitors to Puerto Vallarta (PV) hoping to catch a billfish or Yellowfin Tuna. The only problem with that is, they’re on the wrong side of the calendar. Strangely Enough we can still provide a “Shot” at a Sailfish or Striped Marlin, which in itself is a strange thing. As fisherman/women we always deal the cards dealt. Right now Corbetena or El Banco are on vacation until further notice.
Welcome to another week of winter fishing in Puerto Vallarta. Yes, I said winter fishing, but that’s not quite right. In fact, it’s another week of La Nina fishing. Now you all know we get El Nino and the opposite of this is La Nina. That means what we would normally expect, isn’t happening. Water temps are what’s throwing the fishing community into a loop. Normally at this time of the year we’d be looking at less than 70 degree water temperatures. Right now we’re looking at 74 degrees, unchanged now for three weeks, unusual at best. This does is throw the entire “fishing calendar” off. We should be seeing Red Snappers, Bass, Grouper and several other winter species. There is normally a six to ten week window we get for this great fishing in the bay. This year it isn’t happening. Now it may still happen, but for now it’s not. So the Question remains, what is happening?
Right now your best bang for your fishing dollar is six hours in the bay. Bonito averaging 20 lbs, Jack Crevalles to 50 lbs, Sierra Mackerals are the equivalent of Ocean Trout, plentiful but no larger than 10 lbs. We’re still seeing the occasional Dorado, but with thirty boats heading out, maybe 2 Dorado boated. Which means they’re out there, but it probably won’t be you catching it! A couple of tricks you might want to try is using a downrigger, which seems to be working. The other is use light leader. Many of these guys, local Captains use heavy fluorocarbon leader of 80 to 125 lbs. When fishing for smaller gamefish, it’s like connecting a minnow to T.V. Cable! Drop your leader to 40 or 50 lbs and you’ll have better results. Keep these secrets to yourself.